Wednesday, January 19, 2022

BYTES & PIECES

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In 2002 it was revealed that a bomb-proof replica of the famous Cabinet War Rooms in central London had been built in the north London suburb of Neasden during WW2. The secret bunker was built for Winston Churchill as a last refuge if the seat of government at Whitehall had to be abandoned. Codenamed Paddock, the bunker was so secret that in his memoirs Churchill only referred to it as being "near Hampstead" and even King George VI was not told exactly where it was.

The bunker was built 40 feet below ground with an outer shell of steel-reinforced concrete three-and-a-half feet thick. Unlike the Whitehall war rooms, it was designed to withstand a direct hit.

The anonymous bunker is on an ordinary street

After the war it lay largely forgotten until Network Housing Group bought the site and gained permission to build 37 homes on top of it. Under the planning conditions, the association has to let visitors in for a couple of days each year.

The bunker was only ever used once, for a practice run.

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Most people think they know what a city is - a large, densely-populated, distinct urban area with a cathedral. However the UK's official city status of having a cathedral became defunct in the 19th Century an size does not matter.

The definition of a city in the UK is a place which has been granted city status by the monarch. There are 66 cities in the UK - 50 in England, five in Wales, six in Scotland and five in Northern Ireland.

London, with a population of over 8,000,000, is not a city.

The City of London, with a population of just over 7,000, is.

(The City of London is a city, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London.)

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In 2006 Australian Isaac Butterfield put New Zealand up for sale on ebay.The site showed a picture of the NZ flag and stated that the sale was official.

The sale started at 1 cent. Some people actually took this seriously and the auction reached $3,000 before being stopped by eBay.

The government of New Zealand acknowledged this and publicly stated that the country was not for sale. Many of the data about the auction does not exist anymore as eBay deleted everything about the event in order not to bring bad publicity as it was the main online selling platform at the time.

In 2019 Butterfield created a GoFundMe page where he was trying to sell New Zealand once again. Although the platform is used to raise money for charity cases or different projects, it does not say that you cannot sell anything. Bidding reached $5,200 before the website closed the fundraiser when they saw that it was actually a joke

With this incident, they also changed their policy making it very specific that users are not allowed to sell things through GoFundMe. All the money raised on the site went to various charities chosen by Issac.


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French chefs wear toques, which is actually an Arabic word for hat. When the toque was invented back in the 16th century, chefs wore hats of different heights to indicate their rank in the kitchen. Although this is not always the case in modern kitchens, the tallest hat in the kitchen still usually belongs to the most senior executive chef.

One of the main theories of the development of the toque is that it came to be because of hygiene and cleanliness in the kitchen, meant to keep hair out of food. According to one origin story, King Henry VIII supposedly beheaded a chef after finding a hair in his meal, so the next chef, and all the chefs after him, were ordered to wear a hat while cooking.

A classic toque has one hundred folds, which are said to symbolize the number of ways the chef can prepare an egg.

The reason chefs’ hats are traditionally white, like the rest of the chef’s uniform, is to indicate cleanliness in the kitchen. White is the easiest color for determining whether an object is dirty or clean, rather than dark colors which can mask stains.

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